7 Easy Breakfast Recipes That Can Help You Lose Weight (Even If You Have No Time in the Morning)

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I’m a big believer in breakfast, especially if you’re trying to shed pounds. Among the people I counsel, I find that those who skip the morning meal tend to overeat in the evening, when they’re less active and can't burn off those unneeded calories. So I advise my clients to “eat breakfast like a king," as they say. And there's plenty of research to back that habit up.

One 12-week study showed that folks who ate their biggest daily meal at breakfast were much more likely to lose weight and shrink their waistlines compared to people who ate a large dinner. And a solid a.m. meal is good for your health, too: A recent study published in the Journal of Physiology tracked breakfast eaters and those who fasted until mid-day for six weeks. Researchers found that the genes of breakfast eaters were impacted in ways that may help protect against diabetes and other chronic illnesses.

What's more, breakfast is a good opportunity to fit in key nutrients many people don't get enough of. But if you’re trying to slim down, you may be confused about what (and how much) to eat when you wake up. Below you'll find a range of balanced and weight-loss friendly meals I recommend to my clients. Pick one that suits your food preferences, morning time constraints, and eating style—and commit to eating it daily for at least a month.

A note for coffee drinkers: There's no need to give up your beloved cup of Joe if you're trying to lose weight. In fact, there are health benefits tied to including it. Simply curb the calories in your mug by doctoring it up with a splash of unsweetened almond or coconut milk, one packet of raw sugar, and a dash of cinnamon; and replace the second cup with a tall glass of H2O.

RELATED: The 20 Best Foods to Eat for Breakfast

If you're a grazer…

Prefer to nibble all morning rather than sit down for a meal? Pack the following nutrient-rich finger foods to bring to the office, and take your time enjoying them: one cup of raw veggies (such as sliced cucumber, red bell pepper, or broccoli florets); a single-serve container of guacamole for dipping; two hard-boiled eggs or a half cup of EVOO oven-roasted chickpeas; one piece of fresh fruit the size of a tennis ball, or a cup of loose fruit like berries or grapes. If you need a sweet treat to cap it all off, add a square of antioxidant- and mineral-rich 70% dark chocolate.

If you're hooked on smoothies…

The trick to a slimming smoothie is to strike the right balance of protein, fat ,and carbs—so you feel satisfied without creating a surplus of calories you can’t burn off. Start with a handful of greens, like kale or spinach, and a half cup of zucchini. Combine with one cup of frozen fruit (such as blueberries), or half of a banana with a half cup of frozen fruit. For protein add a scoop of a plant-based powder, or a single-serve container of plain grass-fed Greek yogurt. For a  dose of satiating, heart healthy fat, toss in half of an avocado. And for an anti-inflammatory, metabolism, and immune-supporting boost, include a one-inch cube of peeled fresh ginger root. Finish with one cup of unsweetened almond milk and blend. To maximize how full you feel, sip your smoothie slowly over a 20-minute period.

RELATED: 57 Ways to Lose Weight Forever, According to Science

If you love eggs…

Try this scramble: Over low heat, sauté one cup of chopped veggies (such as sliced yellow onion, tomato, cucumber, and green bell pepper) in a quarter cup of low-sodium vegetable broth, along with a quarter teaspoon of minced garlic, half teaspoon of Italian seasoning, and an eighth teaspoon each of sea salt and black pepper. When veggies are slightly tender, add two whole pastured eggs, and a dash of turmeric, and scramble until eggs are cooked thoroughly. Serve over a bed of fresh leafy greens, along with half of an avocado and one cup of fresh fruit.

If have no time in the mornings…

Your best bet may be to pack a clean ingredient protein bar, like Rx—or for a vegan and nut-free alternative like Amrita’s protein options. But if you can prep a ready-to-eat breakfast the night before, whip up protein-bolstered overnight oats. In a small bowl stir together a quarter cup each of dry old-fashioned rolled oats and plain (unflavored) protein powder. Add a half cup of hot water and stir to dissolve the powder evenly into the oats. In a separate small bowl whisk together a half tablespoon each of virgin coconut oil and honey, and a half teaspoon of ground cinnamon. Stir in a half cup each of shredded raw zucchini and finely chopped kale, and one small chopped or shredded green apple. Combine veggie and apple mixture with oat mixture until thoroughly mixed. Transfer to a sealable container, top with a tablespoon of sliced almonds and another dash of cinnamon, and refrigerate overnight.

Rather have eggs? Here's a simple recipe you can prep ahead: Combine one cup of chopped raw veggies (such as spinach, tomato, cucumber, and red onion) with two chopped hard-boiled eggs, and a tablespoon of dairy-free pesto. Chill in the fridge overnight and pair with a piece of fresh fruit.

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If you're just not a breakfast food person…

Why not make a traditional lunch or dinner meal your morning go-to? Some of my clients plate a second helping of their dinner to stash in the fridge for breakfast. (If you try this trick, be sure to include a generous portion of veggies, so they make up the bulk of your morning meal.) Other people love savory salads for breakfast. If that sounds tempting, try combining one tablespoon of balsamic vinegar with a teaspoon each of fresh lemon juice and either Dijon or stone ground mustard and a half teaspoon of Italian seasoning. Add a can of wild salmon, or a half cup of cooked lentils. Serve the mixture over two cups of kale or spinach massaged with one tablespoon EVOO, topped with a half cup of cooked, chilled quinoa.

Cynthia Sass is Health’s contributing nutrition editor, a New York Times best-selling author, and a consultant for the New York Yankees and Brooklyn Nets.

Source: Health bests

This Couple Dropped 395 Lbs. Together: 'We Fell in Love with Taking Care of Ourselves'

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It was a daunting New Year’s resolution: In January 2016, Lexi and Danny Reed — who weighed a combined 765 lbs. – decided to ditch their unhealthy lifestyle once and for all. “We would spend most nights just sitting on the couch watching television and mindlessly eating junk food,” says Lexi, 27, a blogger who has 492,000 followers on her Instagram @fatgirlfedup. “We would order a whole pizza, bread sticks, wings and a liter of soda,” she says. Soon her weight had ballooned to 485 lbs.

“A friend challenged us to 30 days of no eating out, cheat meals, soda or alcohol,” says Lexi. “We started cooking, meal prepping, tracking our calories and reading nutrition labels.” The Terre Haute, Indiana couple swapped fried foods for chicken, salmon and lean meats, and also learned to make healthy versions of their favorite dishes.

They started going to the gym, too. Lexi says she would work out on the elliptical for 30 minutes, five times a week.

“When I walked into the gym at 485 lbs., I told myself that it was basically going to be the first day of the rest of my life,” she says. “And if people were going to stare at me because of my weight, I was going to give them a reason to stare by being the hardest worker in the room.”

Danny, 29, says he had his own reservations initially. “At first the idea didn’t sound great because it was always good going home, sitting down, eating and not having to worry about anything,” says the lab manager who went from 280 lbs. to 190 lbs. “But I the more I thought about it, I said, ‘It’s a new year and something to work toward while helping Lexi out as well.’ ”

That doesn’t mean the two of them didn’t have difficult days, especially in the beginning. “We would be tired and sore because our bodies weren’t used to it,” says Lexi. “But we had a buddy system, so every step of the way, every pound, we were there to motivate each other. We kept each other accountable.”

Without any gimmicks — just through healthy eating and exercise — our 2018 Half Their Size stars shed hundreds of pounds. For more on their stories and weight loss tips, pick up a copy of PEOPLE, on newsstands Friday.

And soon they begin to see an unexpected benefit to losing weight together: an increase in their quality time. “Before we lost weight we weren’t talking, we were just watching TV,” says Lexi, who now weighs 180 lbs.  “Then we started going on walks, being active, hiking, riding bikes — all these activities that we weren’t able to do when we were living on our couch.”

In fact, last summer they took a “bucket-list trip” to do things that were previously off limits because of how heavy they were, like canoeing and riding roller coasters. They even revisited Panama City Beach, where Lexi had not been able to participate in the beach shell tour on their honeymoon because she couldn’t manage to walk down the shore. “We returned to that beach and ran down that beach!” she says.

These days the two of them are closer than ever. Says Lexi: “It wasn’t about the weight that we lost but the life we gained.”

Source: Health bests

Overindulged During the Holidays? 6 Health Influencers Reveal How They Get Back on Track

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The holiday season has come and gone, and you probably feel like you’ve overeaten, over-drank, and under-exercised for weeks. You're not the only one. But before you start beating yourself up for veering away from your usual healthy food and fitness habits, give yourself permission to move on and start anew.

Regret isn’t going to make those extra few pounds you may have gained magically disappear. Eating well and sweating often, on the other hand, will—as these six health influencers can attest. Here's what they do to get back on track and how you can start the first week of January on a strong, healthy note.

RELATED: 20 Nutrition and Fitness Experts Reveal Their New Year’s Resolutions

Eat clean, train mean

“There are a couple of things I like to do in order to kickstart my training after the holidays. As far as diet goes, I try to start eating as clean as I can. That means no sugar, lots of lean protein, and vegetables. I’m also a fan of hitting cardio first thing in the morning. A little bit of boxing is a great way to start the day, not to mention it jump starts my metabolism and warms up my body for a bigger workout later on.” —Joe Ferraro, founding trainer at Rumble Boxing

Stock your fridge with healthy eats

“Post-holiday season, I make sure my fridge and freezer are stocked with all my favorite healthy foods, like coconut yogurt, sprouted hummus, almond milk, kombucha, pasture-raised eggs, gluten-free sourdough, and a whole host of fruits and veggies. Being able to make last-minute easy dinners like my arugula caesar salad, a simple macro bowl, or breakfast tacos makes it way less tempting to pick something up on my way home.” —Lily Kunin, founder of Clean Food Dirty City 

RELATED: How to Do a Post-Holiday Party Detox

Start your day with a sweat session

“In the new year, I start every weekday with a workout—even if it means getting up extra early! A few reasons I like to exercise first thing in the morning: It boosts your metabolism, prevents you from skipping it later, improves your physical and mental energy (which will improve your mood and productivity all day), keeps you goal-oriented, and strengthens your self discipline. And it doesn’t have to be two hours of your life. Even 30 to 40 minutes will make all the difference!” —Jessica Schatz, personal trainer and Pilates instructor

Zero in on just one goal

“Use the whole month of January as a reset month. Sit down and think about your overall health goals for the coming year and pick one area to focus on for the month of January. That could mean a booze-free month if the holidays were a little extra buzzy, running or walking a mile every day to refocus on being active, or focusing on mindfulness and meditation to bring more awareness into the way you approach your health. The sky's the limit!” —Lauren Williams, personal trainer and founder of Chisel Club 

WATCH THE VIDEO: Jen Widerstrom’s Superset Workout Fast-Tracks Your Toning Goals

Don't overpack your schedule 

"Just like with any goal, having a plan is key. After the holidays, set your schedule to return to normal. Try not to pack your planner with more engagements and new goals than you can realistically handle. If you add one new thing to your regimen,  take something that has become too routine out. —Kira Stokes, personal trainer and creator of The Stoked Method

Have no regrets about indulging

“Make the transition back to reality as minimally loaded as possible, meaning resist the urge to rehash meals past. Hopefully you enjoyed every morsel you ate, but regardless . . . think onward and upward. The shame and guilt will not do you any favors, in fact, they make it much harder to get back on track.” —Shira Lenchewski, RD, author of The Food Therapist

Source: Health bests

How One Woman Went From Drinking 5 Cans of Soda a Day to Losing 170 Lbs.

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Megan Rachow remembers the exact day she decided it was time for a change.

“I had been living a life of obesity for a few years and was exhausted both physically and mentally,” the 30-year-old physical therapist tells PEOPLE. “I felt like I had gained so much weight that I would never get it back off. I still remember the day that the switch flipped for me — July 19, 2014 — and I decided I was done living like this.”

The Medina, Ohio, resident says until that point she was drinking five or more cans of soda a day, eating large quantities of food and stopping at the drive-thru daily.

“Exercise was out of the question as I could barely walk up the stairs to my apartment,” she says.

RELATED: How This Woman Has Maintained Her 125 Lbs. Weight Loss for Over 7 Years

Spurred into action, Rachow says she started small, first cutting out soda and only eating food she cooked at home.

“The weight starting coming off,” she says. “I remember I lost 9 lbs. my first week. After I had lost 100 lbs., I started trying more adventurous exercise. I became fascinated by fitness and seeing what new things I could accomplish with my body. I do things that I never dreamed were possible like running races, lifting heavy weights, and completing a sprint triathlon.”

Rachow, who shared her weight loss journey on both Instagram and Facebook, says she now eats clean foods like salad, quinoa and lots of veggies. She also packs her diet with a lot of high-protein foods like chicken and turkey.

After losing a total of 170 lbs., Rachow says she hit her goal weight of 155 lbs. but was left with excess skin. In December 2016, she underwent a circumferential body lift and brachioplasty to remove the excess skin from her abdomen and arms. She is now in the process of having excess skin removed from her thighs.

“I am now living a life that I love and feel as though I am a completely different person,” she says. “The most important thing I have gained is being comfortable in my own skin.”

Source: Health bests

How to Control Your Hunger Hormones to Lose Weight and Keep It Off

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A symphony of factors control hunger, fullness, and ultimately our weight, including everything from how well you slept last night to the accounts you follow on Instagram. Also involved in the complex process are hormones, particularly the two that are often referred to as hunger hormones, leptin and ghrelin.

In an ideal world, leptin and ghrelin work together to help keep you at a healthy weight. In the real world, well, 70% of the population ends up overweight or obese. Could out-of-whack hormones be to blame?

To answer that question, you first have to understand how the so-called hunger hormones work.

Leptin is the satiety hormone. Essentially, it tells you when to stop eating. “It makes you feel full, and it blocks appetite,” says James Shoemaker, MD, PhD, associate professor in biochemistry and molecular biology at St. Louis University.

Ghrelin, on the other hand, tells you when you’re hungry and need to eat. Think of it as the gremlin making your stomach grumble. “It’s made in the stomach primarily, and it’s released when you haven’t eaten for a while,” says Michael Schwartz, MD, co-director of the Diabetes Institute at the University of Washington in Seattle. Ghrelin peaks every four hours or so–roughly corresponding to breakfast, lunch, and dinner.

RELATED: How to Reprogram Your Appetite to Crave Healthy Foods

When everything’s running smoothly, the two hormones work in harmony, says Philadelphia-based Marjorie Nolan Cohn, RDN, a spokesperson for the Academy of Nutrition & Dietetics. “As one is rising, the other one is dropping.”

But things can–and do–go wrong.

For starters, leptin levels fluctuate with how much fat you have. When you lose weight, leptin levels drop. With less of that appetite-suppressing hormone, you end up feeling hungrier and eating more, potentially causing you to gain back the weight you had lost. “[Once] you have returned to your baseline weight, leptin will have recovered,” explains Dr. Schwartz.

In fact, a study that looked at 14 former Biggest Loser contestants showed that, indeed, leptin levels declined in those who lost large amounts of weight (they lost an average of almost 130 pounds). That could explain why most of them regained much of the weight over time.

It’s also possible to become desensitized to leptin–called leptin resistance–if you are constantly stuffing yourself with food. “You’d think that if you’re eating a lot you shouldn’t be hungry, but it’s the opposite,” says Cohn, who is also author of The Belly Fat Fix: Taming Ghrelin, Your Hunger Hormone, for Quick, Healthy Weight Loss. “Even though there may be leptin in circulation, it’s not registering,” she says, and you don’t know you’re full. 

RELATED: 11 Foods That Make You Hungrier

Hunger-stimulating ghrelin levels also vary with weight loss. After dieting, ghrelin production increases, potentially causing people to eat more and gain weight. “The cravings can be so hard to control,” says Cohn. “Once you’re out of whack, it’s really hard to get back into balance.”

Why our bodies fight back

Understandably, human beings are designed to fight starvation. Part of the body’s response to dieting is a drive to revert to whatever weight we were previously. “As you gain weight, the brain thinks that the new weight is the one that’s supposed to be regulated,” says Dr. Schwartz. “That’s why it’s so hard to lose weight and keep it off.”

That response typically kicks in after you’ve lost around 5% to 7% of your bodyweight, he says. “Once you lose more than 5% of your bodyweight, on average, you’re going to engage these responses that counter-regulate against the weight loss. Whether you do it quickly or slowly, it doesn’t matter very much.”

Interestingly, people who undergo bariatric surgery seem to have lower levels of hunger-promoting ghrelin than people who take pounds off through plain old diet and exercise. This may be why weight loss after gastric bypass surgery tends to last for longer periods of time.

Harnessing your hormones

Barring surgery, is there any way you can control these hormones to your advantage? Luckily, yes.

If you can, stick to a more moderate weight loss of just around 5% of your bodyweight so you don’t trigger that debilitating drop in leptin. Then, readjust mealtime: “Eat on the clock,” says Cohn. That means every two hours if you like to eat smaller portions or every four hours if you eat larger meals. This draws down stomach-grumbling ghrelin levels.

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It’s also important to eat a balance of foods at each meal, particularly protein and complex carbs. “Protein is a major player in suppressing ghrelin,” Cohn says. “It takes more work to digest and keeps you full longer.” Fiber also slows digestion and helps keep you full, she adds. Look for complex carbs like whole grains, veggies, and fruit, especially those containing a type of fiber known as “resistant starch,” like not-quite-ripe bananas.

Exercise may also help control your hunger hormones so you can shed pounds for good. One study found that losing weight on a treadmill resulted in lower ghrelin levels than slimming down by simply eating less.

Source: Health bests

Make the Diagnosis: Wrist Cyst Worsens

(MedPage Today) — Case Findings: A 31-year-old man went to his doctor to ask about a smooth nodule that had developed on his wrist over the last couple of months. At first his wrist had just been a bit painful and seemed to have some swelling. Then slowly the lump had developed. Now it seemed to be creating some distal numbness and muscle weakness that concerned him.

Can you diagnose the patient?
Source: Dermatology

This Couple Has Dropped Almost 400 Pounds Since Making a New Year's Resolution to Lose Weight

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'Tis the season for New Year's resolutions—and with that, the almost inevitable resolution relapse. But that didn't happen to one determined couple, who set a goal to lose weight together starting on January 1, 2016. Nearly two years later, they’ve shed a combined 394 pounds—and they’ve been documenting their incredible weight-loss journey on Instagram.

Before they made their joint resolution, Lexi Reed weighed 480 pounds, while her husband, Danny, tipped the scales at 280 pounds.

RELATED: Best Snacks for Weight Loss

“We knew that together anything was possible,” Lexi writes in one photo caption on Instagram. “We weighed a combined total of 765 lbs and we [were] fed up with the life we were living.”

They credit their weight loss to preparing their own meals, drinking water instead of soda, and spending less time on the couch watching TV. Their workout goals started small; they pledged to spend 30 minutes at the gym five times a week. Now, Lexi goes to the gym daily and pushes herself to finish intense workouts—like an hour of Zumba or weightlifting.

Lexi even credits their losing weight as a team with strengthening their 10-year relationship. “We have transformed our lives and molded our bodies into the people we’ve always wanted to be,” she writes. You will be amazed by their eye-popping before-and-after posts below.


Source: Health bests

This Woman Lost 77 Lbs. in a Year By Cooking With an Instant Pot Every Night

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This article originally appeared on People.com.

An Instant Pot was this woman’s one way ticket to weight loss.

At the start of this year, weighing 212 lbs., Brittany Williams decided to take control of her health by challenging herself to make dinner every night, she tells PEOPLE. The mom of three got her husband involved by having him agree to not bring takeout home for the duration of the year, and instead she decided to bust out the Instant Pot that had been lying around her house mostly untouched. She’s now down 77 lbs. since January 3 and 125 lbs. in total.

“I’ve had the Instant Pot for four years but I didn’t use it much and when I did it was for comfort foods like mac and cheese, ribs and cheesecake,” Williams, 27, says. “Starting in January I began using the Instant Pot every day—sometimes several times a day, five to six nights a week for dinner and several mornings for breakfast. I even use it to warm leftovers instead of my microwave.”

The blogger behind Instant Loss says the trendy, easy-to-use appliance that works as a pressure cooker, slow cooker, and rice cooker has made “making healthy food convenient and allowed me to succeed where I’ve failed many times before.”

Dropping the weight wasn’t all thanks to the push of a button though. Williams overhauled her diet to mirror something similar to paleo, avoiding most grains, dairy and sugar. “It’s simple. If it comes from the earth and is unprocessed, I eat it,” she writes on her blog. She loads up on vegetables and limits her fruit to avoid natural occurring sugars. 

“Eggs, meat, alternative flours (coconut, almond, and cassava), oils (coconut, avocado, and olive), nuts, seeds, and dark chocolate are some other examples of what I eat,” she says.

Williams is constantly sharing Instant Pot recipes—like dairy-free creamed corn and chickpea tacos—that not only adhere to her diet but most importantly, save time.

“There are nights I don’t start cooking dinner till 6pm because I lose track of time or we don’t get home till late, nights that I used to pull out of a frozen pizza or have my husband grab dinner on his way home from work,” she writes. “My Instant Pot has eliminated those nights. I can throw a few things in the pot and have dinner on the table in under a half hour.”

Source: Health bests

Do These 5 Things Right Now for a Healthier Holiday Season

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I’ll only have one small glass of wine at the office holiday party. I’ll still make it to the gym three days a week. I won’t leave gift shopping until the last minute and stress myself out. These are promises plenty of us make to ourselves as the holiday season gets into full swing. And they’re promises most of us will break.

That's because it's easy for healthy intentions to go MIA when a coworker pulls together a last-minute happy hour plan, or you made yourself a way-too-long gift shopping list, or you took on another holiday-related responsibility that's throwing you off your game. 'Tis the season for excess, we know, but striving for balance and maintaining your usual healthy habits during December will also help you avoid starting the new year with a #dietstartstomorrow mentality.

To help you survive the month with your mind and body strong and begin 2018 on the right foot, we rounded up five simple things you can do right now

RELATED: 5 Ways to Ease Holiday Stress in 5 Minutes or Less

Buy a pack of gym classes

Dropping some cash ahead of time for a 10-pack of classes or one-month class pass at your favorite fitness studio may be pricey. But knowing that they're already paid for will motivate you to keep up your sweat sessions all season long—because not even a holiday cookie swap can convince you to throw money out the window. Buy them now, and you'll have a few left over to use during the first week of January, so you're inspired to follow through on your New Year's fitness resolution as well.

Get cooking

Chances are you’ll catch up with friends over drinks or brunch this month. Instead of chatting over high-calorie eggs Benedict or cocktails, connect in a setting where healthy food is the focus—like a cooking class. Book a vegetarian class for you and your girlfriend ahead of time, or make a Sunday meal prep date now, so you’ll have nutritious meal options on hand when the holidays close in. Having good-for-you eats already prepped will help make last-minute holiday cookie dough binges less likely.

RELATED: 5 Healthy Baking Swaps You Need to Try

Slim down your holiday dinner

Heading to a festive potluck? Do a little research to find recipes similar to yours that use lower-fat ingredients, Wendy Bazilian, RD, nutritionist and co-author of Eat Clean, Stay Lean, suggested in a prior interview with Health. “Even better, find a version that incorporates some healthy foods that simultaneously bump up the nutrition while reducing extra calories, sugars, or fat.”

A few swap ideas we love: If you’re tasked with bringing dip to a party, substitute protein-rich Greek yogurt for sour cream. Or cook up whipped cauliflower instead of mashed potatoes. Hey, every bit counts.

WATCH THE VIDEO: A 5-Minute Meditation to Help You Find Your Calm Now 

Subscribe to a self-care box

Treat yourself to a subscription box today that will make staying healthy through the holiday season so much easier. Sign on with a meal kit delivery service so you already know you have good-for-you meals covered, or subscribe to a beauty box ($30 for 3 months, birchbox.com) that will tame your stressed-out skin during party season. Being proactive will automatically make you feel like you’re starting December on a high note. Plus, who wants to make a last-minute drugstore run for sparkly eye shadow on New Year's Eve?

Download a meditation app

The holiday season may be the most wonderful time of the year, but it’s also the most hectic, when your usual routine falls by the wayside and family and friends you've avoided all year long come back into your life. Not surprisingly, your mental health can take a hit. To stress less this December, download one of these apps that take you through guided meditations and mindfulness exercises. We have a feeling they’ll come in handy after your family talks politics at the dinner table.

Source: Health bests

The One Thing Sabotaging Your Weight-Loss Goals

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When certified nutrition specialist and personal trainer Jay Nixon meets with new clients for the first time, he typically hears the same opening line: “I’ve tried everything to lose weight, but I always gain it back.” And in almost every case, the reason is the same, he says: “They didn’t change anything psychologically."

In his recent book The Overweight Mind, Nixon argues that only about 20% of weight-loss success is mechanical—or what you eat, and how often (and intensely) you exercise. The rest, he believes, is mental: “Getting a handle on [your] mindset is what leads to long-lasting results."

Psychological change might actually feel more daunting than adding an extra serving of veggies to your plate. But Nixon promises it’s easier than you think. In fact, it can be as simple as changing your vocabulary.

There are three short words he wishes everyone would ban when it comes to exercise and diet: can’t, won’t, and don’t. “Those words wrap around everything having to do with people's physical condition, to the point that they don’t even realize they’re saying [them] anymore,” he says. “They don’t have awareness around how often they use these words.”

Using them less often, he says, can have a direct impact on your fitness and weight-loss success. Here, a few examples of how you can flip the script on all that negative talk.

RELATED: How to Trick Your Brain Into Eating Less, According to an Expert in 'Gastrophysics'

"I don't like vegetables"

Nixon has found that in the context of food and fitness, people often say “don’t” because of a negative past experience. For example, if someone says he doesn't like vegetables, it could be because eating kale once made him feel sick. Or if someone says she doesn't run, it may be because she once suffered an injury from running.

When his clients use the word "don't," he reminds them that “old experience doesn’t need to dictate current behavior." Then he helps them take small steps to turn those don'ts into dos. For example, he might encourage the non-runner to simply move as quickly as she can. Odds are, after a few weeks, she'll have naturally picked up the pace.

"I can't do 10 push-ups"

“I get clients to reframe that sentence,” Nixon says. Instead of declaring you can’t do 10 push-ups, remind yourself that you can do 1 push-up. “Every day, reapply it,” he says. So the next day tell yourself, I can do two push-ups, and keep going until you hit your goal.

"I won't wake up early to work out"

People who use “won’t” in a sentence like this have convinced themselves the statement is a fact, says Nixon. But the statement only feels true because of how often the person has repeated it. Again, you need to reframe the thought: Think about what you will try–say, two early mornings a week–and then focus on how to make that behavior stick.

It can help to create a sense of accountability for yourself, Nixon suggests. “I try to get people to form a sort of community,” he explains, whether that means recruiting a workout buddy to meet you at the gym before dawn, or finding a friend on a similar path, who you can share your plans and progress with. Or if prefer to go it alone, start a journal, Nixon suggests. Even writing down what you will do in a journal can keep you honest, he says.

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These reframing tricks will help you stay on track no matter what phrase follows the word "don’t," "can't," or "won’t," Nixon says. No weight-loss journey is perfectly smooth, he points out. “When we hit roadblocks, we always fall back a little bit. But if you’re working on your psychology, you won’t fall as far.”

Source: Health bests

Why You Really, Seriously Don’t Need to Diet Before Your Wedding

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Whether you've visited the Stone Fox Bride store in New York Citywhich sells a selection of gorgeous gowns, headpieces, and jewelry for brides in search of non-traditional wedding day looksor are one of @stonefoxbride's 123,000 followers on Instagram, chances are you've heard of Molly Guy. In her debut book, Stone Fox Bride: Love, Lust, and Wedding Planning for the Wild at Heart ($45; amazon.com), which hits shelves December 5, the wedding guru gets real about the pressure to shed pounds before the big day, as well as how she (kind of) overcame her own fear of the scale.

Unless you grew up in a cave without fashion magazines, there’s a good chance that at some point in your life, you’ve hated your body and taken unhealthy measures to try to change the way it looks. The truth is, getting married can turn even the most self-confident lady into a shivering, self-loathing mess. Transitions, even exciting ones, are a perfect petri dish for vulnerability. In the weeks before my wedding, I felt about as secure in my appearance as I did when I was a prepubescent sixth grader with blue braces and one boob.

For some hideous reason, modern-day wedding culture dictates that brides are supposed to look one hundred percent perfect walking down the aisle. Like Miss America–perfect: smiley, shiny, taut, tight, gleaming. God forbid there should be a stretch mark, cellulite dimple, split end, chipped tooth, or cracked cuticle in sight. No wonder so many brides obsess over fad diets.

I’ll admit that I’ve bought into much of this stuff at one point or another.

Blame it on the nineties. I came of age in an insane era when Kate Moss was queen. Homeless and on heroin was the look; drowsy, lead-lidded girls with lank hair and gold hoops in their tits who didn't eat, didn't cry, didn't care. For a good twenty years I struggled with food issues: laxatives, bingeing, purging, the works. So sad. In college I had a "nutritionist" who sold me pyramid schemes of vitamins and delivered deadpan lectures on the high glycemic index of a carrot. Beneath her firm tutelage, I’d record my daily meals in a Moleskine: tiny kale salads, one hundred calories of hard cheese, a single slice of Ezekiel bread. Then I’d have a "cheat day" where I’d pig out on Pringles and pizza. My body image insanity died down around the time I met [my now-husband], but reared up in the weeks leading up to my wedding. I couldn't get over the fact that everyone was going to be looking at me. I thought I should be on some crazy crash diet, but I wasn't, which stressed me out even more. I guess I was just feeling insecure and vulnerable, trying to control some aspect of the madness.

These days my compulsion to maintain a certain weight is much less crazy than it used to be. Don’t get me wrong, it still flares up every now and then, but way less than before. Sorry to get so Oprah, but the body stuff is a lifelong journey. It comes and goes. Even today, if someone tells me, "You look really healthy," I’ll be thinking, You mean fat? Try not to use the pressure of your impending marriage as an excuse to emotionally whip yourself. If the mean wedding demon happens to pay you a visit, give him a friendly hello, then tell him to f— off.

Feel Foxy, Not Hungry

Eat, for Fox Sake: Diets beget anxiety; anxiety begets bad vibes. Trust me, you don’t have to lose weight for your wedding. Do you really want your partner committing to a skinny, withered, unrecognizable version of you? No. Most likely he fell in love and knew he wanted to spend his life with you on some random afternoon when you two were lying naked in bed after really good sex, happy and laughing and probably kind of awkward. Your hair was sticking up, your cheeks were flushed, and you were at your most radiant and comfortable and peaceful. You might have even had a little piece of food stuck in your teeth. Bottom line: You want to look like yourself.

Good Shape/Bad Shape: Watch it with the fitness class packs that take place in an air-conditioned room with an instructor on a Bluetooth screaming at you to speed it up. They will most likely turn you into a fidgety, high-stress mess. Better to do something you love in moderation to get in shape: taking long walks, dance classes, bike rides, yoga. Exercising while wearing pajamas in your living room along to Jane Fonda or Richard Simmons is also hilarious.

Save Face: I subscribe to the "less is more" philosophy when it comes to most things, makeup included. My wedding beauty regimen was fairly low-maintenance—although I did get my roots done, eyelash extensions, and—truth be told—a spray tan. Looking back at the pics I DEFINITELY could have done without the tan. Whatever you decide, do your damnedest not to overdo it.

Sweet Dreams: I know you’ve heard it before, but getting at least eight hours of sleep a night will do wonders for your skin, vibe, and peace of mind. If you tend toward late nights and/or insomnia, I recommend turning off all devices by eight p.m., taking a warm bath with Epsom salts, and getting into bed with nothing more than a book by ten. The more you sleep, the better you feel. The better you feel, the better you look.

Rise and Shine: The morning of your wedding, try to stay away from multiple cups of coffee and sugary white flour things that’ll spike your blood sugar. I’m a fan of soft-boiled eggs, oatmeal, berries, tea, and whole-grain toast with almond butter. Take a minute or two to sit silently and gather your thoughts if you can. Beyond the drama, adrenaline, and nerves is the amazing blessing of having found your person. Try to let that sink in on some level.

Buy the book: $45; amazon.com


Excerpted from Stone Fox Bride by Molly Rosen Guy. Copyright © 2017 by Molly Rosen Guy. Excerpted by arrangement with Spiegel & Grau, an imprint of Random House, a division of Penguin Random House LLC. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.

Source: Health bests

How This Woman Has Maintained Her 125 Lbs. Weight Loss for Over 7 Years

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This article originally appeared on People.com.

Samantha Call’s weight loss journey began as the result of a tragic loss.

Call – who said she was “always the big girl” growing up and reached 265 lbs. by her senior year of high school – lost her father to heart disease in 2008. Her dad, who had struggled with obesity, was just 48-years-old.

“I’ll never forget sitting with my [12-year-old] brother after my dad had passed, when he told me ‘Samantha, I don’t want you to die like daddy did,’ Call, now 33, told PEOPLE.  “That broke my heart but gave me the drive that I needed to start my journey.”

First, the Callis, Maine resident consulted with her doctor. “My blood pressure was through the roof,” says Call. “I had wanted to get gastric bypass [surgery] because I felt like I had failed so many times on diets. I couldn’t stick with it. But, my doctor pushed me to lose the weight for myself and on my own. It lit a fire under me.”

In early 2009, Call found success with Atkins. And after a year and a half got down to 132 lbs. Call has maintained her weight loss for about seven years.

“I’ve always been someone who loved bacon and loved eggs, that was easy to me,” Call said of her new low carb program. “How many diets can you do that you get to eat bacon and eggs every morning?”

She also learned to love lean meats and vegetables, and now enjoys making her own healthy meals. “My fiancé is very supportive with what I cook us for dinner,” she says. “He’s always been a physically fit guy so it helps. He’s a huge support.”

While losing weight, Call gradually added in exercise, and now works out for an hour in the morning before work. “It’s part of my daily routine,” says Call, who switches between fitness DVDs, a Pilates ball and at-home gym equipment.  She even ran a half-marathon two years ago, and hopes to do more in the future.

Still on Atkins, she also allows herself a cheat day once a week, but doesn’t go overboard. “I have my mind fixated on one thing that I’m going to have,” she says. For example, instead of the three large plates of fried, carb-heavy food she used to get a Chinese buffet, Call now has a small plate and maybe half an egg roll. “It’s all about portion control.”

Another big change? Her confidence. Call, who was married once before, felt uncomfortable wearing her wedding dress at her previous size.

“I look at those photos and it was unflattering,” she says. “I’m excited for the fact that I’ll be able to pick out a beautiful dress and feel good about myself because I was very self-conscious about myself the first time around. I’m happy that I’ll look and feel good.”

Source: Health bests