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List of Low-Calories & High-Calorie Condiments

Condiments are typically very calorie dense.

Many people are getting what we call "sneaky calories" from condiments.

Usually, it is a problem of large serving sizes combined with not realizing how many calories they're consuming.

For example, in a standard serving size of sauce on a 6 inch sub from will typically have 40-100 calories.

Or just 1 tablespoon of ranch salad dressing will typically have around 60-100 calories.  And most people are using far more than a table spoon.

The key to condiments and weight loss is to make sure that you are not increasing your calorie intake from the condiments (or almost zero increase in calories).  

Or if you are increasing your calorie consumption from condiments make sure that it is part of your plan.

Here are different calorie counts for some popular condiments. Note, that the calories can vary massively from one brand to another.

Condiment

Calories (1 TBSP)

Mustard

9

Ketchup

19

Now Sugar Added Ketchup

10

Salsa

5

Balsamic Vinegar

14

Salsa

5

Soy Sauce

9

Stubb's Geen Chile Anytime Sauce

5

Tabasco Chipotle Pepper Sauce

0

Dill Pickle Relish

5

Apple Cider Vinegar

5

Sauerkraut

2

Ranch Dressing

73

Light Ranch Dressing

40

BBQ Sauce

50

Sugar Free BBQ Sauce

5

Mayonnaise

94

Can I Drink Alcohol and Still Lose Weight?

Yes, you can drink alcohol and still lose weight as long as you're careful about how many calories you're consuming.  

Alcohol is very calorie dense which makes it a serious potential barrier to losing weight.

Often, people will point to health benefits of drinking wine.  

Drinking 1 alcoholic beverage per day for females and 2 alcoholic drinks per day for males is considered moderate drinking.

However, moderate drinking can quickly stop someone from losing weight or decrease the speed someone is losing weight.

For example, having just one 5 oz glass of wine with supper each day will be a total of 3,840 calories in a month.

Alcohol when consumed will prevent your body from using stores of body fat. 

Obviously avoiding alcohol as much as possible while trying to lose weight is the most effective way.

However, completely avoiding alcohol can cause some people to feel deprived and really stray from their diet.  

If you feel alcohol is something that you want to work into your weight loss plan we highly suggest that you figure out exactly how many calories you're consuming from alcohol and work it into your plan.

One of the easiest ways to decrease the amount of calories in a drink is to be selective about the type of alcohol you drink and to measure the amount you are drinking.

For example, many clients over the years have thought they were having one serving of wine, but measured their wine glasses only to discover they are drinking 1.5-2 servings of wine.

Here is a list of some of the most popular type of alcohol and the number of calories per serving.

Wine 5 oz

Calories

White Table Wine

128

Chardonnay

128

Dry Dessert Wine

157

Merlot

122

Pinot Noir

121

Red Table Wine

125

Red Dessert Wine

165

Beer 340 ml

Calories

Light Beer 

103

Regular Beer

153

Molson 67

67

Hard Alcohol 1.5oz

Calories

Gin (80 proof)

97

Rum (80 proof)

97

Vodka (80 proof)

97

Whiskey (80 proof)

97

Haamonii Shochu

30

Mixed Drinks 8 oz

Calories

Bloody Mary 

210

Margarita

340

Skinny Margarita

120

Mimosa

150

Rum and Coke

185

Rum and Diet Coke

97

Vodka and Tonic

185

Vodka and Diet Tonic

97

Vodka and Orange Juice

209

Wine Cooler

147

Mixers 8 oz

Calories

Diet Soda or Tonic

0

Orange Juice

112

Light Orange Juice

50

Cranberry Juice

136

Coffee or Tea

0-4

Baja Bob's Sugar-Free Margarita or Sweet 'n' Sour Mix

10

Lemon or Lime Juice

64

DaVinci or Other Sugar Free Syrups

0

Sparkling Water or Sparkling Ice

0

Muscle Pain After a Workout How to Reduce Pain (4 Easy Strategies that Work)

We've probably all been there where we work out a little harder than we normally do just getting back into exercising, then you get really sore muscles. 

This is referred to as delayed onset muscle soreness, or commonly referred to as DOMS. 

In this article, I’m going to explain these four techniques to help you recover from sore muscles, or what is commonly referred to as delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS).

  1. Active recovery

  2. Stretching

  3. Foam rolling

  4. Contrast Showers

Now I'm going to go through the specifics of each of these strategies to help recover sore muscles.

1. Active Recovery to Relieve Muscle Soreness

First, most people's inclination, when they have these sore muscles is to relax and to move as little as possible.

When you're getting up and you're moving around, you're probably feeling pain from your DOMS.  This isn’t a fun sensation, especially if you’re not used to exercising.

However, try to avoid being sedentary.  

Instead, use something called active recovery.

It may surprise you but actually doing more movement helps your body to recover faster. 

This can be incredibly simple.  Focus on performing movements that are easier in nature but using the muscles that are sore.

This can be something as simple as getting up and walking for 20-30 minutes.

You can perform other active movements as well depending on which muscles are sore.

For example, you can bodyweight squats if your thighs are sore, or an easier version of push-ups if you have sore arms.

Keep it very simple, focus on using the muscles that are sore in a gentle repetitive motion without causing much fatigue in the actual muscles.

This is something that I was built into the programs of athletes I used to work with. 

It’s a great way to get more physical activity while still helping your body recover from the more intense workouts.

2. Foam Rolling for DOMS Recovery

Foam rolling is an effective way to recover from DOMS.

Get a foam roller or a massage ball and roll through the sore muscle. 

When you're doing this, you don't have to punish yourself with pain. 

If you use a 0-10 pain scale, zero being no pain and ten being high levels of pain you don’t need to be over a 3 or 4 out of 10.

Spend anywhere from 30 to 60 seconds on the different muscles that are sore.

If you’re really sore you may want to do this a couple of times throughout the day.

Here’s a video where I walk you through different foam roller exercises.

3. Stretching to Help Sore Muscles Recover

Stretching can help to relieve sore muscles.  This is best done after the foam rolling exercise outlined above.

Although any type of stretching can help I have found a specific type of active stretching to be the most effective way to instantly decrease how sore your muscles are.

I walk you through this process in the video below.

The third strategy for muscle soreness recovery is movement. Just go out and move and use those muscles. Don't make it a really high intensity workout. For example, if the front of your thighs are sore, go for a 30 minute walk and this is going to help out.

4. Contrast Showers for Muscle Recovery

Finally, the last strategy I’ll share is probably the is the most effective way I’ve learned over the years to help sore muscles recover quicker.

Contrast showers is something I started using this with athletes I trained years ago, but it can be just as effective for us regular people who are sore from our exercise routines.

Contrast showers are an effective way to increase blood flow to the muscles. This increase in blood flow brings more of the chemicals that help your body recover to the sore muscles speeding up recovery.

This increased blood flow actually helps to give instant relief by helping to relax the tense muscles that are sore from your previous workout.

How to Perform Contrast Showers for Muscle Recovery

Hop into your shower and put the water as hot as you can comfortably tolerate. 

Don't get silly and start burning yourself or causing pain.  The water needs to be hot but doesn’t have to be uncomfortable.

Have the hot water on your sore muscles for about two minutes.

Then put the water as cold as you can comfortably tolerate on your sore muscles for about 1 minute.  This can be quick the shock to the system when you turn it to the cold portion of the shower.

Contrast showers to help sore muscles recover

Then you repeat this cycle 2-4 times alternating between 2 minutes of hot water and 1 minute of cold water.

This is the most effective way I’ve found to decrease muscle soreness after a workout or help cure DOMS. 

There you have four different strategies for muscle soreness. Pick and choose whichever what will help you recover from muscle soreness. 

However, if you use all four of them in combination with each other, that's the most effective way to recover from sore muscles.

Next, I’m going to share with you why you get sore muscles after you’ve exercised or what causes DOMS.

“Are Sore Muscles a Good Sign?”

First, I want to make something clear. When it comes to muscle soreness, it does not automatically mean you had a good workout. 

This goes back to the old 1980s no pain, no gain mentality. 

I’ve found a lot of people are under the misunderstanding that you need to have sore muscle for it to have been a good workout.

You can have a great workout and be sore.

You can have a great workout and not have sore muscles the next day.

You could have a poor workout and be very sore the next day. 

I really want to clarify that so that you stop using muscle soreness as a measuring stick in terms of if you had a good workout or not. 

What Causes DOMS?

If you're doing any type of new activity or you're increasing how long or how hard your workout is you're creating more stress on your body.

This increased stress on the body can cause damage to your muscles. 

Oftentimes, people refer to this as micro-tears but all you really need to know from a practical standpoint is you've done some damage to the muscles.

Also, this isn’t a bad thing.

Muscle Soreness After a Workout Isn’t Necessarily a Bad Thing

This damage that occurs to the muscle from the stress of exercising is actually how you get your body stronger and into better shape. 

You put your body under stress, then you give it time to recover from the damage created by the workout.

What Causes Sore Muscles After a Workout?

When you create this damage through exercise your muscles can become sore from inflammation that occurs trying to heel this damage.

It’s not necessarily a real problem if you are sore after working out, but you probably don't enjoy that feeling especially if you're new to working out or you're just trying to get back into it. 

Usually, your muscle soreness or DOMS will hit its peak at around 24 to 48 hours after you've exercised. 

The delay in muscle soreness after a workout is due to how the inflammatory process works. 

There's something called an inflammatory cascade. 

First, your body increases blood flow to the area that has been damaged.

The blood is carrying the different chemicals that your body uses to start the healing process.

Some people are affected by muscle soreness more than others.

Also, you’re more likely to get muscle soreness if you are new to exercising or returning to working out after a period of being more sedentary.

As you consistently exercise, you'll be far more likely to have muscle soreness after a workout.

Or at least you're going to start to become more accustomed to the sensation and it's not as bad as when you first start exercising. 

One of the significant factors that can relate to this is hydration, so make sure you are drinking enough water.

How to Stop Overeating (1 Simple Strategy)

We’ve worked with clients for many years and overeating is one of the largest barriers that prevent people from being able to lose weight.

Figuring out how to stop overeating is a complicated topic. Because it's so complex, you're probably going to need different strategies at different times and certain strategies work well for different people. 

With that in mind, I will go through one specific technique that I learned while doing some of my education through Precision Nutrition.

I have found this technique incredibly effective with clients who are trying to figure out how to stop overeating.

It is called Red Light, Yellow Light, Green Light Foods. 

Red light foods are the ones that don’t work well for you. 

What does that mean? 

Red light foods can be foods that cause any of the following.

  1. You feel you can’t control yourself when eating them

  2. When you eat them you don’t feel very good afterwards (ie. bloating, gas, lower energy, etc)

  3. Eating them is causing you to move farther away from your goals

Red Light Foods are Likely to Trigger Overeating

I’d recommend being careful when selecting your red light foods.

I’ve found many clients consider foods such as ice cream and chocolate as red-light foods because they feel they can’t control themselves around these foods or these foods stop them from reaching their goals.

However, a lot of that has to do with the strategies they're using to try and lose weight not the foods themselves. 

For example, they're dieting and going to extremes and taking out all carbs and all sugar and they start feeling deprived. 

This leads them to no longer having control around these types of foods. 

I’d suggest asking yourself “am I actually struggling with control around these foods or is it how I’m trying to lose weight.”

Another important note with red light foods, you can have healthy foods still fall into the red-light category. 

For example, cheese can be healthy. However, it might give you digestion issues or you find you can’t eat it in the proper serving size. 

Some examples of red light foods that we found common with clients over the years are like potato chips, chocolate bars, ice cream, soda, pop pizza, or a lot of other highly processed very calorie-dense foods that aren't very nutritious. 

Obviously, your red light foods list is going to be very individual these are just common examples.

Proceed with Caution for Yellow Light Foods

Yellow light foods might work well for you sometimes but in other times they don’t work for you. 

For example, if you eat them in smaller amounts, you’re fine but if you consume them larger amounts, you get digestive or negative effects.

For example, it could be a food that you have control around in certain situations or environments. 

Maybe you can eat cheesecake in moderate amounts while dining at a restaurant. However, when you're home alone and you have an entire cheesecake at your disposal you lose control and overeat. 

Another common factor that affects your control around food is your mental-emotional state at the time of eating the food.

For example, if you're feeling stressed, you might not have control over certain foods. 

But if you are relaxed, you have control around those exact same foods.

If this is the case these are yellow light foods for you.  The factor is stress.

Similar to red light foods, your yellow light foods are very individual.

Stop Overeating

Green Light Foods are a Go!

Greenlight foods have you looking and feeling your best. 

They're super nutritious, they leave you feeling satisfied physically and mentally.  Finally, you have lots of energy when eating green light foods.

These are the foods helping you move closer towards your goal.

Obviously, these are the foods you want to try and eat more of.

Build Awareness of What You Overeat

How do you use red, yellow and green light foods to help you figure out how to stop overeating? 

It is a tool to help you build better awareness which is for most people and important first step to stop overeating.

Get out a piece of paper and a pen.

Draw 3 columns on your piece of paper and label them red light, yellow light and green light.

Start filling in the different foods you feel should be in each column.

Take your time in considering which foods go in which column. 

With red light foods, ask yourself “Why don't I have control around those foods!?” 

If you're not sure that's okay.  For now, leave it the red-light category. 

By slowing down and asking yourself “why?” It might help you to develop better awareness such as realizing that you can eat ice cream moderately at an ice cream parlour but can’t control yourself when you have a tub of it at home. 

Hopefully, this is starting to help you have a better awareness. 

One of the biggest things with figuring out how to stop overeating is understanding your triggers around that. 

Next, look at your red light foods, are there any of those foods you can take out and remove from your household? 

This isn't always an option.  

For example, you have potato chips in your red light food category because you have no control around them. 

But your partner absolutely loves potato chips and feels like they need them in the house. You can have a conversation with them about it, but if they're not comfortable with removing potato chips that might not be a viable option.

What Can You Do if You Can’t Remove the Food?

If you can’t remove the food you’ll have to start relying on other strategies.

For example, you could increase the barrier to eating the food. 

You could ask your partner to keep that food somewhere separate the house and away from your where you would generally see the food and be tempted by it. 

Some examples we’ve had our clients who are shorter than their partners, ask their partner to place it on a higher shelf or a place that would require a small ladder or chair so it is difficult to reach. 

It sounds silly but these small barriers have worked and help get you away from unconscious eating, which often happens with overeating. 

You actually have to stop and think or stop and go get a chair and that little bit of a barrier can prevent you from eating it.

Strategies and Barriers to Stop Overeating

Here’s another example, I remember years ago, I had a client who had trouble with overeating ice cream. 

She didn't want to remove ice cream from her house though. 

What she did was she had a deep freeze in her basement and she would bury it in the bottom of the freezer. 

She found that 90% of the time that would be enough to stop her from eating the ice cream. 

She thought that she did not want to go all the way downstairs, pull everything out of the freezer and get it. It was simple and it worked.

Small things can make a big difference. 

You just need to figure out what techniques work best for you.

If You Can Remove Red-Light Foods

That doesn’t mean you can never eat your red-light food again. 

A strategy that works well for a lot of people who take red-light foods out of their household is going to the store and purchasing a serving size of the red-light food and then brining it home to eat.

This does a couple of things.

You only have a serving size portion of the food making it easier to avoid overeating.

Also, if you find you want to eat even more food after you’ve finished your serving size you would have to go back to the store again.

This is usually enough of a barrier to prevent someone from overeating.

Often people will buy a lot of their red-light foods in large bulk sizes to save money.

stop and think about this and ask yourself “would it be worth spending a little bit of extra money to get the serving size packages if it's going to help to stop you from overeating?” 

It’s important to understand just because this strategy is simple, doesn't mean it's easy. 

Actually implementing this is tough. 

Managing to figure out how to stop overeating is hard work. 

But I know you could do this if you take the time to start actually getting better awareness you can start getting better and better and controlling overeating. 

If you’re struggling with overeating it may be related to emotional eating.  Check out this video on tools to help manage emotional eating.

17 Techniques to Figure Out How to Get Back on Track After a Binge Week

In this article, I’m going to walk you through these 18 different strategies to help you get back on track after binge eating for a week.

How to get back on track after a binge week

  1. Take positive actions as soon as possible

  2. Put your binge into perspective

  3. Focus on having a growth mindset instead of a fixed mindset

  4. Get right back to the habits that were working before your binged

  5. Increase your physical activity

  6. Wait to eat until you’re really good and hungry but not overly hungry

  7. Drink more water

  8. Address the root cause of your emotional or binge eating

  9. Reflect back on what you were doing to lose weight, was it too restrictive?

  10. Focus on more lean protein, fruits and vegetables for a few days while potentially decreasing fats and carbs slightly

  11. Improve the quality and quantity of sleep

  12. Slow down while eating and eat with focus on enjoying your foods in your day to day meals

  13. Reaching out for professional help

  14. Reach out for personal support

  15. Avoid overcompensating by getting too strict with your diet

  16. Avoid the scale for a couple of weeks or all together

  17. Use the red light, yellow light, green light technique to help binge eating

Binge eating is a tricky mountain to climb.  

One of the biggest keys for people trying to lose weight is figuring out how to get back on track after binge eating.

Look through these techniques and experiment to figure out how to get back on track after binge eating for a week.

#1 Take positive actions as soon as possible after binge eating

The reason I have this as the first item is that it’s incredibly important.  

Binge eating has large emotional components to it.

By taking some sort of positive action it will start the process of getting into a better headspace around your most recent cycle of binge eating.

Even small steps can help you to feel like you’re making progress.

Binge Eating

#2 Put your binge eating into perspective

In my experience, the biggest reason that people struggle with getting back on track after binge eating is due to the fact that they feel like they’ve “ruined everything” with their diet.

This often leads to people feeling large amounts of guilt or shame around the act of binge eating.  Ironically, this often leads to even more binge eating.

Something that a lot of our clients find helpful is trying to remember that you can’t ruin everything from a binge eating episode.

It doesn’t matter if it is one meal, a weekend or even a full week of binge eating or longer.

Successfully losing weight is all about permanently changing your habits.  

If you were losing weight and getting results you were making changes to your lifestyle.  

If you were learning how to consistently follow through on those new habits and changes to your lifestyle before you binged then you haven’t lost that progress.

Try to keep perspective on the fact that binge eating was just a misstep on your weight loss journey, you didn’t ruin everything.  This perspective will help you get back on track after binge eating.

I’ve been coaching people on how to lose weight for about a decade and a half and I have not coached a single client that doesn’t get off track with their diet.

Even the clients who have reached their weight loss goals and maintained those results for years still get off track with their diet and at times binge eat.

Getting off track with your diet is all part of the process of losing weight and living your life.

Try to keep this perspective in mind to avoid strong feelings of guilt and shame that can continue and prolong the binge eating cycle.

#3 Focusing on growth mindset instead of a fixed mindset

There is a psychological theory that explains two different types of mindsets that you can have.

Growth mindset is when you look at your ability to do something (skill level) as flexible and able to grow and evolve.

A fixed mindset means that you look at your ability to do something (skill level) as static.  Essentially, either you’re good at something or you’re not.

At first, most of our clients have a hard time seeing how this relates to getting off track with your nutrition and binge eating.

But, in reality, eating is a set of skills.

Being able to stay on track with your diet is a series of skills.  

Being able to get back on track with your diet is a series of skills.

Most people simply look at sticking to their diet as something you either “do” or you “don’t do.”

If you start changing your perspective and begin trying to learn from your experiences with binge eating you’re going to start building skills.

When you’re trying to figure out how to get back on track after a week of binge eating try to stop and identify why the binge occurred and what actions you need to take in the future to be able to make binging less likely to happen again in the future.

Also, pay attention to what works to help you get back on track with your nutrition.

You can learn more about growth vs. fixed mindset by watching this video.

#4 Get right back to the habits that were working

Prior to binging for a week (or however long you binged for) you were doing great. 

Assuming you were happy with your progress and how things were going.  

What were the habits you were doing in your day to day life that were producing the results you wanted?

Get right back to doing those habits as soon as possible after you’ve binged.

One of the biggest problems with binge eating and weight loss is most people take far too long to get back on track to the habits that were working for them prior to the binge.

Often, this is because people get lost in a negative cycle of beating themselves up for getting off track and then eating to help manage those feelings of guilt and shame around getting off track.  This can be a very vicious cycle.

Try to break this cycle as quickly as possible and get right back to what was working.

#5 Increase physical activity

After a week of binge eating try to increase your physical activity.  This will actually help in a couple of different ways.

First, it helps to burn more energy. 

If you're expending more energy it will help you to get back into an energy debt and losing weight again.

Second, it helps you to get a release of dopamine.  

After coming off a week of binge eating your body has gotten used to getting a release of dopamine on a regular basis.

To simplify, dopamine is a chemical the brain releases that make you feel good.

When eating sugary or foods your brain releases dopamine.

A lot of the pull people feel towards food following periods of binge eating is a result of your brain wanting dopamine to be released.

The good news is that there are other things you can do to get a release of dopamine.  

Exercise and physical activity (especially outdoors) can trigger your brain to release dopamine. 

Exercise can really help you get back on track after binge eating.

Exercise to get on track after binge eating

#6 Wait to eat until you’re really good and hungry but not overly hungry

This is a technique that is incredibly helpful coming off of shorter periods of binge eating such as one meal, day or weekend.  

But, can also help with more prolonged periods such as binge eating for an entire week.

What I’d suggest doing coming off of a binge is to wait until you’re really good and hungry before eating again. 

Important note, when doing this make sure you have a very nutritious meal that will have you feeling satisfied all ready prepared ahead of time.

Something that is higher in lean protein, veggies and some whole food source of smart carbs.

Although you want to wait until you’re really good and hungry to eat do not wait too long.  

If you get overly hungry it will have a negative impact by making it harder to break the cycle of binge eating.

#7 Drink more water

Something that can help curb hunger is making sure you get enough water.

When coming off a period of binge eating your body will often make you feel incredibly hungry.

Try to make sure you’re drinking enough water to help manage your hunger levels.

Here is a rough guideline we use with clients to help them figure out if they’re getting enough water.

Hydration

#8 Address the root cause of the binge eating

A huge percentage of people who are going through cycles of binge eating can track the root cause back to emotional eating.

If you are having challenges with emotional eating willpower will not be enough to help you push through this.

If someone is struggling with emotional eating they need to develop tools to help them manage this problem.

Here is a video on emotional eating if you’re looking for tools to help with this.

#9 Reflect and reassess the strategies you were using to lose weight

Often people wind up binge eating when they’re dieting because they’ve created too much restriction in their diet in an attempt to lose weight.

It’s a very common theme I’ve seen over the years working with clients.

It can be a perception of too much restriction in terms of food choices which leads to someone feeling like they are missing out on all of their favourite foods.  

This leads to a strong desire to eat certain foods.

Someone can find just the smell of certain foods to be an overwhelming trigger.

When someone is in this state of having a strong desire to eat and they get a taste of one of their favourite foods this can be enough to start a massive binge.

Also, a person can become too restrictive on calories.  

I’ve seen a trend of people restricting calories too low too quickly which physiologically leads to your body giving you stronger and stronger cravings for calorie-dense foods.

In time this leads to someone using all their willpower to stick to their diet.  

Inevitably, in time the person cracks and goes off their diet.

Typically, this leads to a feeling like they’ve “ruined everything.”

If you’ve gone through a recent binge stop and take time to reflect.  

Did you get too restrictive with your diet?  Did this play a role in your binge eating? 

Do you need to make adjustments this time around?

#10 Focus on more lean protein, fruits and vegetables

After coming off a binge you want to get a lot of nutrient-dense foods that are low in calories and keep you feeling satisfied.

I’d suggest focusing on what we call lean proteins as well as lots of different types of fruits and vegetables.

Here’s an article that helps you with how much lean protein you should eat per day.

Getting more nutrient-dense foods like lean protein, fruits and vegetables will help to get you back into an energy debt while keeping you feeling mentally and physically satisfied.

Some people will find it helpful to have a slight decrease in carbs and fats for a few days after a week of binging.  

However, be very careful with this strategy because it can lead to binging again if you get too restrictive.

Lean protein after binge eating

#11 Quality and quantity of sleep

A lot of people don’t realize that sleep has a massive impact on your hormones. 

Specifically, poor quality of sleep or not enough quantity of sleep has been shown to impact your hormones that affect your hunger levels. (1)

Getting a poor night's sleep is one of the hidden causes of binge eating that most people are unaware of.

Focusing on your sleep patterns is one of the most effective ways to get back on track after binging.

#12 Slow down while eating

One of the major causes I’ve found with binge eating relates to a lack of satisfaction after meals.  

I have found over the years that a lot of people aren’t feeling satisfied mentally or physically after their normal day to day meals.

In my experience, when people slow down and focusing on the texture, taste and experience of eating it helps them to have higher levels of satisfaction upon completion of their regular meals.

If you are having consistently higher levels of satisfaction after your typical meals it helps to put you in a better space mentally to avoid getting pulled into binge eating.

This is especially important when you’re indulging in your favourite foods.

Often, when people are eating foods they view as “bad’ foods they eat them quickly.

For example, people who love ice cream, chocolate, potato chips eat incredibly quickly when they’re indulging in these foods.  

They’re eating these foods so quickly that they don’t get a chance to actually get full satisfaction mentally or physically until they’ve overeaten.

Try slowing down and being mindful when eating.

#13 Reaching out for professional help

This is something that can be really important if you are having a reoccuring problem with binge eating.

Struggles with emotional eating or binge eating can be incredibly challenging to sort through.  

Don’t be afraid to reach out to get help from someone who is experienced in helping navigate challenges that go along with binge eating.

#14 Reach out for personal support

This piggybacks off of the last point.  

Look towards the people closet to you in your life.  

Is there someone you feel comfortable to reach out and talk to.

Often this can help to manage feelings of guilt or shame around periods of binge eating.  

If there isn’t someone you feel comfortable talking to at this point a technique that helps some people is to sit down and journal about what they’re feeling. 

The important thing is to find some outlet to get your feelings out in a safe productive way.

#15 Avoid the overcompensation trap

Often, when someone is trying to figure out how to get back on track after a week of binge eating they overcompensate by getting too strict with their diet.

As mentioned earlier in the article in strategies #9 and 10 you want to avoid getting too strict with your diet because this can lead to more binge eating. 

#16 Avoid the scale for a couple of weeks….or longer

A lot of people should not weigh themselves.  

It’s a problem that we have noticed where the scale can elicit strong emotional responses with many people.

If you are able to look at the number on the scale simply as data with no strong emotional response to your weight going up and down you’re probably safe to weigh yourself.

On the other hand, if you find that your entire day can be positive or negative depending on the number on the scale.  Then you are probably will be best served by not weighing yourself.

Many people are triggered to binge eat when they don’t get the results they expect on the scale.  

So avoiding the scale often helps people get on track with your nutrition.

#17 Use the red light, yellow light, green light technique to help binge eating

One technique that we have found helpful over the years is something I learned doing some of my education through Precision Nutrition.  It’s a technique called, red light, yellow light, green light foods.  

It’s a very simple, but powerful technique to help people get back on track after binge eating.

If you would like to learn more about this technique I walk you through it in this article here or you can watch the video below.

How to Get Back on Track After a Week of Binge Eating Wrap Up

Getting on track after binge eating is tough.

But, as I talked about earlier it is a skill and you can get better at the process of figuring out how to get back on track after a week of binge eating. 

The most important thing to understand is that different things work well for different people when it comes to binge eating. 

Different strategies can work well for you at different times. What I suggest is to look at it as a science experiment.  

Try different things from this list and see what works best for you!

And most important cut yourself a break, it’s really challenging learning to manage binge eating.

Learn How to Use Foods to Increase Your Metabolism

When I'm scrolling through my Facebook feed I’m constantly seeing products, services and content claiming it will teach you how to increase your metabolism. 

It’s not just online, I hear from different clients about how they're struggling with a slow metabolism and they want to figure out how to boost their metabolism. 

There are some serious misconceptions about increasing your metabolism that I feel need to be explained. 

In this post, I will not only clear up this misconception about metabolism but teach you how to use foods to increase your metabolism.

At the end of this article I’ll share a really important secret that the weight loss industry doesn’t want you to know about increasing metabolism.

If you prefer to watch a video on the topic you can find that at the bottom of this post.

Understanding Your Metabolism

How much energy or calories does your body use towards a different activities? 

A lot of people are surprised to learn that 60% to 75% of all the energy used throughout a day goes towards just your resting metabolism or in other words, keeping you alive and your normal day to day activities.

How about physical activity? 

Well, that is 15% to 30% of the calories you'll burn throughout a day. This has such a large variance because some people are a lot more active than others. 

Finally, you have something called the thermic effect of food or TEF. 

When you eat, it takes energy to digest, metabolize and store that food into your body this is energy is represented by TEF. 

TEF is about 10% of your total calories used in a day. 

If you’re looking to figure out how to use food to boost your metabolism, it will be done through increasing the thermic effect of food.

Using Foods to Increase Your Metabolism ​​​​​

Different types of food require different amounts of energy to digest and metabolize.

Obviously, if you want to increase your metabolism through the foods you’re eating you want the ones that require the most energy (have the highest TEF).

First, whole foods versus processed foods. 

Studies show that eating whole foods requires more energy to digest and store than processed foods. 

You want to get lots of whole foods in your diet. This increases your TEF or how many calories you're burning from food.  Therefore eating a diet that is predominantly whole foods is one of the ways you can use foods to increase your metabolism. 

Next, the second way to use foods to increase your metabolism.

You need to understand the difference between eating protein, fats and carbs. 

Generally, it requires different amounts of energy to store each one. 

Fats, are the easiest to digest and store in general. It usually takes about 5-10% of the calories you consume, to digest and store dietary fats. 

Carbohydrates take between 5-15% of the calories you consume, to digest and store them. 

Finally, protein is the least efficient to store and require between 20-35% of the calories to digest and metabolize inside of your body

Impact of Food on Your Metabolism

Let's put this into real world terms.

Let’s pretend for a second you consume 2000 calories from fats, obviously you would never do this. But for the sake of understanding how foods impact your metabolism we’ll pretend you did.

Now let's pretend that you consume 2000 calories of carbohydrates. 

Finally, let's pretend you consume 2000 calories of protein.

Thermic Effect of Food or TEF to Boost Metabolism

As you can see there's a huge difference in the number of calories that will actually get stored from each of these different scenarios.

Steps to Boost Your Metabolism with Food

In terms of practical information, how do you boost up your metabolism with food? You take what I just shared with you, and try to get enough protein from whole food sources.

We recommend for females to get four to six palm sized serving of lean protein per day, you can see the different options on the image below. For males, they're going to want to get two palm sized servings four to six times per day.

Female-Protein-Serving-Size

Ideally, you want to get these protein sources, fats and carbohydrates, from whole food sources as much as possible. That’s the way you will increase your metabolism with food. 

If you prefer to look at how much protein to get per day in grams of protein you can check out our video on the subject.

The Real Secret About Increasing Your Metabolism

Keep in mind that the thermic effect of food only represents about 10% of the amount of calories you'll burn in a day. 

You can use foods to increase your metabolism, but don't expect it to have a massive impact. 

Here’s a big secret that the weight loss industry doesn't want you to know. 

Most of the time you're being sold the idea that you're going to boost up your metabolism and that will cause you to lose a lot of weight.

However, boosting up your metabolism is not the key to weight loss. 

The real key to losing weight is learning how to control how much food and calories you're consuming. 

I know that's not sexy, cool, or an exciting answer, but that's the reality of losing weight. 

It’s not groundbreaking but the best part about all of this is you have far more control over controlling your food intake compared to controlling your metabolism.

Even better news, you don’t need to rely on a special product, supplement, diet or special food to boost your metabolism. 

Use these strategies I’ve outlined today to help boost up your metabolism. 

But, remember, it is far more important to find the right system that fits for you on how to regulate how many calories you're consuming.

How Many Pounds Can You Lose in Week?

One of the better ones questions I have received about weight loss is “what is a realistic weight loss goal?” 

More specifically, “how many pounds can you lose in a week?”

If you believe what’s out there, losing one to two pounds per week is realistic and sustainable for weight loss but is there actually any proof to back this up? 

The truth is: I've seen no factual data to back that up. 

It's one of those things that get repeated enough that it turns into fact.

If you prefer a video version instead of reading this article scroll to the bottom of this page.

Avoid this Weight Loss Trap

When I talk to clients, we hear is some variation of “I think it's realistic to lose one to two pounds per week.” 

I then ask them what are the specific changes they need to make to their nutrition, exercise and lifestyle in order to lose 1-2 pounds per week for a prolonged period of time, for example 6 months.

They usually give me a blank stare and then say “I don’t know.”

Many people believe this myth of losing one to two pounds a week. 

They not only avoid questioning it but they are missing the next key question: can I sustain this or is this realistic?

The assumption is out there that if you eat a little healthier or move a bit more that you can lose weight and do it at a consistent pace. 

Unfortunately, there is more to it than that.

What’s a realistic weight loss goal

Another thing we notice are people developing habits that are unsustainable given their lifestyle. For example, some have eliminated sugary foods and alcohol intake or exercise for endless hours in a week. 

We also have another set of people who lose all the weight needed to reach their goal. But struggle to sustain the habits that helped them reach that goal.  Inevitably, this leads to them regaining all the weight back.

Most people losing weight don’t stop and ask if they can keep these changes up to maintain their weight  loss.

There is a clear miscommunication about what it takes to lose weight and to keeping losing 1-2 pounds every week. 

When talking to people who’ve experienced reaching their goal only to gain all the weight back I’ve found they’re understandably beating themselves up.

Unfortunately, this usually leads to people being too hard on themselves and makes it incredibly challenging to start the whole weight loss process over again.  They feel like they’re starting from square one.

How Many Pounds Can You Lose in a Week?

Remember that everybody is different, everyone's going to lose weight at a different pace, but regardless of those individual differences you want to look towards finding a sustainable way to lose the weight that works for you. 

We've worked with many clients over the years who've lost an average of 2.5 pounds per week, over a six month period, and are able to sustain that for years.

How many pounds can you lose in a week

On the flip side, we've had clients only lose 0.25 pounds per week, and they struggle to be able to sustain those results.

From our experience, losing one to two pounds per week is a lot harder than most people anticipate.

If you want the results to be realistic and sustainable, you have to ask yourself, “am I ready to make those changes, not just over the next few weeks, but make them for long periods of time, and actually make it part of who I am and how I live my life?”

If the answer is no, then it's not realistic for you to expect to lose one to two pounds per week and actually maintain those results. 

You need to figure out what changes, you're ready to make, and then see what results those changes produce.  That’s how you figure out how much weight you can lose in a week.

Yes, it might be at a slower pace than that one to two pounds per week, but it's what's going to work for you because it's realistic and sustainable for your lifestyle. 

How many pounds can you lose in a week?  That will ultimately depend on what you’re ready to do consistently with your nutrition, exercise,  lifestyle.

To try out our free weight loss program click here

How to Get a Flatter Belly (Exercise & Foods for a Flatter Belly)

Weight loss companies often entice you with pills and programs that guarantee you’ll burn more belly fat. 

They show before-and-after pictures of client successes stories that seem like their product is going to cause you to burn more belly fat.

In reality, these photos are enhanced to look better than they actually are in real life, further enticing consumers into buying their products with the hopes of getting a flatter belly. 

The truth is, there is no one way that you can target burning belly fat. 

For example, take a look at this before and after picture of myself.

Foods for a Flatter Belly

As you can see there is a big difference between how flat my stomach is in these two photos.  A lot of companies will marketing this photo and explain how belly fat has been targeted.

It’s important to understand you can’t target losing more belly fat.  

However, you can target getting a flatter belly through a combination of a combination of three different areas.

You need to make changes to all three of these areas in your everyday everyday routine if you’re looking to a flatter belly.

Foods for a Flatter Belly

The first area to focus on for a flatter belly is of course, food. 

Not only should we be mindful of what we eat, but also which foods are irritating the digestive tract. 

Some foods actually create issues in your digestive system, preventing you from getting that flatter belly. 

The key is to figure out what which specific foods are causing issues with your digestive tract because these are not foods for a flatter belly.  At least not for you.

I’m going to go through the most common foods that are likely to prevent you from being able to get a flatter tummy

Highly processed foods are one of the biggest causes of digestive problems. 

Some people might be quick to shrug it off and say that they don’t eat very much processed food.

However, even some foods considered to be healthy they can be highly processed, for example almond milk.

Next on our list of foods that could cause bloating and distention and prevent you from getting a flatter midsection is alcohol.

Beer, wine, vodka, and other alcoholic drinks can lead to irritation in the small and large intestines. 

Dairy, nuts, seeds, and grains may also aggravate the digestive tract; even if they can be considered as foods if they aren’t agreeing with your digestive tract they can prevent you from getting a flatter belly. 

Are These Foods Preventing You From a Flatter Belly?

The first area to focus on for a flatter belly is of course, food. 

Not only should we be mindful of what we eat, but also which foods are irritating the digestive tract. 

Some foods actually create issues in your digestive system, preventing you from getting that flatter belly. 

The key is to figure out what which specific foods are causing issues with your digestive tract because these are not foods for a flatter belly.  At least not for you.

I’m going to go through the most common foods that are likely to prevent you from being able to get a flatter tummy

Highly processed foods are one of the biggest causes of digestive problems. 

Some people might be quick to shrug it off and say that they don’t eat very much processed food.

However, even some foods considered to be healthy they can be highly processed, for example almond milk.

Next on our list of foods that could cause bloating and distention and prevent you from getting a flatter midsection is alcohol.

Beer, wine, vodka, and other alcoholic drinks can lead to irritation in the small and large intestines. 

Dairy, nuts, seeds, and grains may also aggravate the digestive tract; even if they can be considered as foods if they aren’t agreeing with your digestive tract they can prevent you from getting a flatter belly. 

Are These Foods Preventing You From a Flatter Belly?

It’s important to understanding a lot of the foods on this list can actuallyl be healthy foods.  However, you need to know which ones are working with your body. This is very individual.

One method to see if these foods are preventing you from getting a flatter tummy is by eliminating one of these types of food from your diet for 3 weeks. 

Take note and pay attention to any changes in symptoms that could indicate this food is preventing you from getting a flatter tummy.  After three weeks you can slowly add the food back into your diet and see if you get a return of any symptoms.

Symptoms could include some of the following.

  • Digestive problems

  • Bloating

  • Stomach cramps

  • Distention of the stomach

  • Gas

  • Compact stool

  • Loose stool

If you are getting any of these types of symptoms these are probably not foods for a flatter belly. 

Exercises for a flatter belly

Besides identifying foods for a flatter belly for your individual body you want to focus on specific exercises for a flatter belly too.

To achieve a flatter midsection, there are certain exercises that you can do. 

While most people will tell you to do crunches, sit-ups or leg raises, they are actually efficient exercises for a flatter belly.

When you exercise, you must do movements that focus on the inner unit, that strengthen deep abdominal muscles that hold the stomach in. 

However, it’s important to understand that you should not be holding these muscles in, often referred to as sucking in to try and get a flatter tummy.  This can actually lead to problems with pelvic floor muscles.

Remember, you shouldn’t be constantly contracting these muscle groups. They must be able to pull the stomach in naturally.  This will happen by performing these exercises on a regular basis and strengthening your inner unit.

Additionally, it’s a good idea to really work on these inner unit core muscles because they become weak from the aggravation in the digestive tract from the foods outlined earlier in the “foods for a flatter belly” section.

Sleep for a Flatter Belly

One of the biggest tools you need so you can have a flatter belly is getting a good night’s sleep.

Flatter Belly

This is one of the most important, although it’s often the most ignored. When you don’t get the recommended hours of sleep every night, your body experiences hormonal changes that can lead to more fat being stored in your midsection. 

Make sure that you are in bed ready to doze off by 10:30 to 11 o’clock at night so you get the optimal 8 to 9 hours of rest. 

Improving sleeping habits not only helps flatten your stomach, but it’s going to make you feel look and feel better overall. 

How to Get a Flatter Belly Wrap Up

There are no shortcuts or gimmicks to achieve a flatter belly. 

You need to focus on foods for a flatter belly, exercises for a flatter belly, and finally focus on getting better quality sleep for a flatter belly.

How to Stop Being Hungry

In this article, I will talk about how to stop being hungry to help you with your weight loss goals.

From my experience when it comes to their understanding of hunger and their desire to eat. There is a common misconception about these two things. 

More often, people confuse hunger with the desire to eat, thinking that these two things are one in the same. However, there are differences between when you’re hungry and when you just want to eat.

 

Sometimes, when we feel that we’re hungry, it is just our mental desire to consume food that is kicking in. 

One way of knowing if hunger is real or not is to occupy yourself with physical activities. It can be doing the dishes or the laundry, working, or even taking a walk, it doesn’t matter as long as your mind is occupied with other things besides food. 

If the feeling of hunger goes away, then you are not truly hungry, you simply want to eat. 

On the other hand, with real hunger, these sensations will continue even while your brain is preoccupied.

Understanding Hunger

Now, let me explain to you how hunger works. 

Hunger is a normal physiological function. Generally speaking it usually means your body is in need of something.

One of the most common trends we see with clients trying to lose weight is that they complain of being hungry all the time.

Although being hungry is definitely part of losing weight, battling with constant hunger makes weight loss almost impossible to sustain.

Over the years I’ve found that a lot of clients are constantly battling with hunger because they aren’t eating enough food at each meal.

Yes, you need to eat less calories to lose weight.  However, you should still be eating larger volumes of food to help keep you satisfied.

If you are finding yourself always feeling hungry there are high chances you’re not getting enough food to nourish your body and keep you satisfied.

Stop Hunger By Finding the Right Balance of Food

I mentioned wanting a high volume of food to try and stop hunger, while still managing to keep calories lower so you can lose weight.  How do you go about doing this? 

Focus on making your meals with a proper serving size of lean protein and vegetables.  Then at most meals add a thumb size serving of fats and a scooped out handful of smart carbs.  See the images below for proper servings sizes and which foods fall into each category.

For males a starting serving size is double each of those outlined above.

 Finding the right balance of the amount of food to eat differs from one person to another. 

But, these are starting points to help guide a person to get a better balance in your meals.

Most people who want to lose weight will need the following throughout a day (again this is a starting point, it’s very individual)

  • 4-6 servings of lean protein per day

  • 3-6 servings of veggies per day

  • 3-6 servings of smart carbs per day

  • 3-6 servings of healthy fats per day

What if You Still Can’t Stop Hunger?

Another strategy that can help stop hunger is making sure you’re hydrated.  

Trying drinking 250-500ml (1-2 cups) of water before each meal.  If you’re finding you’re hungry in between meals try doing the same thing.

Often, a lot of our clients will find this helps to curb their hunger. 

If you want to learn more about how much water to drink when dieting click here

What If You’re Still Hungry?

If you find you’re eating the guidelines above and you’re still finding yourself hungry all the time, you may want to look towards the difference between hunger and wanting to eat.

Often people confuse physical hunger with the desire to eat.  Often people aren’t physically hungry, but find themselves being pulled towards food.  

Next time you find you’re feeling hungry stop and identify what sensations you are experiencing.

Often people think they’re physically hungry, however, they aren’t experiencing sensations such as stomach rumbling. 

See if you’re being pulled towards specific foods or if you’re still looking to eat healthy food such as chicken breast and broccoli. 

If you find you’re being pulled towards eating less than healthy foods, but have little interest in eating healthier options you are probably in a state of wanting to eat, not true hunger.

 If you’re struggling with a desire to eat instead of hunger those are very different strategies to manage that problem. 

I’ll be covering those strategies in a different article in the future. 

To try out our free weight loss program click here

What’s the Best Protein Powder for Weight Loss?

Today, I'm going to talk to you about how to pick out the best protein powder for weight loss.

Lot of times when people are working to lose weight, they want to use a protein powder to supplement their diet.

When you're picking trying to pick out the best protein powder for weight loss it can get really confusing. With all the marketing out there it’s tough to weed through what makes sense and what doesn’t.

So today I’m going to take away the confusion and show you exactly what you want to look for when you're picking out the best protein powder for weight loss.

If you would prefer to watch a video version of this article scroll to the bottom of this page.

Important Lesson About Protein and Weight Loss

First, I want to clear something up.  Generally speaking, getting whole food sources of protein is going to be better for you than using protein powder.

As a rule of thumb, whole foods will require more energy to digest which makes it easier to lose weight.

However,  there are a lot of  there are a lot of benefits to protein powder for people trying to lose weight. First, I want to clear something up.  Generally speaking, getting whole food sources of protein is going to be better for you than using protein powder.


As a rule of thumb, whole foods will require more energy to digest which makes it easier to lose weight.


However,  there are a lot of  there are a lot of benefits to protein powder for people trying to lose weight.


How to Pick Out the Best Protein Powder for Weight Loss

The most important thing you should do when picking out a protein powder is read the label.

Look at the ingredient list and look at the nutritional information (the numbers on the side of the container).

We'll start with the ingredient list.

Protein powder is obviously a processed food.

Ideally, what you want to do is try to get one that has the least amount of ingredients possible.  Frequently, people will get gas and digestive issues when they take in protein powder. Often, I find clients will have less symptoms if they switch to a protein powder with less addities.

Next, when you're reading the nutritional information, you want to take a look to see how much protein, carbohydrates and fat there are in a serving size.

In a protein powder you want to get at least 25 grams per serving.

In a protein powder you want to get less than 10 grams.

For fat you want your protein powder to have 5 or less grams.

These are general guidelines.  You can find a quality protein powder that is slightly off of these amounts.

Best Protein Powder for Weight Loss

Next you want to look at the source of the protein.

Whey is the most common or frequently seen protein powder.

However, a lot of people get digestion issues with whey proteins.

If you find you're getting gas or a distended stomach or bloating or anything like this, you might want to try a protein powder that is not whey based.

This can be from sources like rice, pea, hemp, eggs, casein or others.

Tips for Picking Out the Best Protein Powder for Weight Loss

The most important thing when you're picking out your protein powder is you enjoy the way it tastes.

If you don't like the way it tastes, you find it chalky or you find it doesn't blend up well, you're not going to want to continue using it because you won’t enjoy your protein shakes.

A good strategy with this most protein supplements if you order online you can get one individual serving size before you buy a giant tub so you can see if you actually like the taste or not.

Best Brand of Protein Powders for Weight Loss

So I’ve walked you through how to look at the ingredient list, how to read the nutrition label and pick out a protein powder.  But, a lot of people want suggestions of different brands of protein powder.

Best Whey Protein Powder for Weight Loss

Here are the two brands that we have carried at our personal training studio.

Genuine Health Whey Protein Powder

New Zealand Whey Protein Powder

Both of these protein powders meet all the requirements I've outlined in today's article.

I would note that these are more expensive brands of protein powder, but you will more often than not get what you pay for.

Best Protein Shakes for Weight Loss

Best Vegan Protein Powder for Weight Loss

Finally, what is the best vegan protein powder for weight loss.  We have one brand that we really prefer over others. We used to have a 2nd brand we liked Vega Sport, but they changed their formula with a lot more additives so we stopped carrying that brand.

The brand we recommend is Genuine Health Vegan Protein Powder.

We have found over the years that vegan brands of protein powder are often more chalky.  Overall, we have had positive feedback from clients using this brand

Picking Out the Best Protein Powder for Weight Loss Wrap Up

Hopefully at this point you have a clear picture of how to pick out the best protein powder for weight loss.

Having said that, it’s very individual with taste and which ones will agree with your digestive tract.  The best option is to play around and see which ones you enjoy.

If you would like to learn how to make the best protein shakes for weight loss click here.

Reasons to Use Protein Powder for Weight Loss

Benefit #1 of Protein Powder for Weight Loss

Convenience. You're able to get your lean protein in without a lot of prep time.

Benefit #2 of Protein Powder for Weight Loss

Makes it easier to get enough lean protein.  In my experience, the vast majority of people looking to lose weight aren’t getting anywhere close to enough protein.

Protein helps to keep you satisfied on fewer calories, build lean muscle and boost up your metabolism.

Benefit #3 of Protein Powder for Weight Loss

Cost effective way to get protein into your diet.  Protein powder is actually one of the most cost effective ways to get lean protein into your diet.

It often can look expensive because of the initial cost of a giant container of protein powder.  But, if you actually look at the cost per gram it’s very cost effective.

These are just a few of the benefits of using protein powder for weight loss.  How many grams of protein per day should you eat? Click here to find out

How to Make the Best Protein Shake for Weight Loss

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