Perfection KILLS Your Progress: Why It’s Okay Not to Be Perfect

by Jeremy Huisheere, FitElite

Have you ever set a goal and the longer you thought about it, the more unattainable it became?  I think it is safe to say that everyone has been in this predicament. In the fitness and wellness realm, these goals are usually connected to the chase of weight loss or an improved physique.  It can be daunting when setting a long-term goal because there are so many opportunities for you to fall off track.

Let’s paint the picture of a 2018 New Year’s Resolution. You are ready to make a life change and start the journey of getting in better shape. You sit down and set a goal of losing 25 pounds. To do this, you decide you are going to quit drinking soda, stop eating added sugars, fried foods, and ice cream, cut down on carbs, increase your vegetables, start drinking more water, sleep better, and start going to the gym six days a week. The list could go on and on.

What are the chances that you are going to eat perfectly, sleep perfectly, and have a perfect gym routine every single day this year? I’ll tell you—ZERO and that is okay! Refocus yourself to nail one thing at a time.

When setting your fitness or wellness goal (or any goal for that matter), don’t dwell on perfection. If you do, you will always fail. Rather, focus on progress. At the end of your day, look yourself in the mirror and ask this one simple question, “Am I making progress?” This gives you so many opportunities to succeed. If what you are doing this week is getting you closer to your end goal, that is progress!

Will your progress come to a screeching halt if you have an off day and your nutrition is less than ideal? Absolutely not! Did going to the gym on that same day, when in the past you would have stayed home, mean you are progressing toward your end goal? Absolutely!

There is no room in the chase of progress for the crippling stress of perfection. Don’t worry about being perfect, and know that every decision is an opportunity leading you one step closer to your end goal.

If you can retrain your brain into the positive thinking of progress, you will no longer have to spend your time worrying about the imperfections that are found in everyday life situations. Treating each individual decision each day as a stepping stone in the right direction will lead to many small “wins” or “successes.” These incremental “wins” will culminate into one massive achievement—reaching your ultimate goal.

The most difficult thing about progress is that it sometimes happens at a snail’s pace. Patience is not something that comes easy for most, but those who are willing to stick it out are the ones who tend to see the greatest successes.

Be patient with your progress, be patient with yourself, and remember, perfection is not the answer. Rather ask, “Am I Making Progress?”

Tips to Keep a Weight Loss Resolution on Track

by Victoria Vande Zande, MD, Prevea Health Internal Medicine

The start of a new year can be a great time to make positive changes in your life. According to Proactive Change 2016, more than 40 percent of Americans make New Year’s resolutions. The key is to be one of the 8 percent who achieve their resolution. Striving for healthier habits and weight loss are among the most common New Year’s resolutions. Here are some tips to help you stay on track with your healthier lifestyle resolution.

Set realistic goals and write them down: If you truly want to do something, write it down. Mark your goals on a calendar or on a to-do list. Meet mini goals such as: week one, eat one more serving of vegetables per day; week two, drink eight glasses of water per day; week three, remove sugared drinks from diet; week four, walk three days per week, etc. Do these and you are well on your way to a healthier lifestyle. It may also be helpful to set definite dates for long-term goals. Remember, it took more than a couple of weeks to gain weight, so it will take some time to lose it as well. It really is a lifestyle change.

Journal: Keep a detailed record of your weight loss, daily activity, dietary intake, and how you are feeling. You will be able to see what you are actually eating, and this may help you to figure out what your problem areas are. You may be surprised at how many calories you are consuming in a day. You should also be able to correlate how you are feeling with your diet and activity.

Remove temptations: Leave the temptations at the grocery store. It is much easier to give in if these foods are readily available. Allow yourself to give into cravings only when you are outside of your home and only in one serving portions.

Support system: Find a buddy that has some of the same goals as you do. You can share your ideas, plans, successes, and failures on a regular basis. It is also important to involve your family and friends so they can support you.
Photograph yourself: Pictures don’t lie. Take a photo of yourself every week and monitor your progress. The scale may not show that you have lost weight because of change in body composition, but you should be able to watch your progress through the pictures. You could also do body measurements or monitor your body composition over time.

Give yourself a break: Don’t beat yourself up if something doesn’t work. Figure out what you could do differently to get better results next time. The same things don’t work for everyone. If you have a bad meal or a bad week, make sure to stay positive and get back on track as soon as possible.
Keep your eyes on the prize with the ultimate prize being a better life and being healthier. Healthy people have more energy, more fun, and ultimately, more time.

A Weight Loss Program That Works
For some, a more structured diet is necessary. For these people, Prevea Health offers Ideal Weigh. Ideal Weigh is a medically supervised weight loss program that uses Ideal Protein foods along with vegetables, protein, and supplements to achieve weight loss. With Ideal Weigh, carbohydrates are limited to push your body into ketosis. During ketosis your body burns fat first. Since you are eating more protein, your body doesn’t burn muscle. In fact, patients on Ideal Weigh have improved body composition (decreased fat and increased muscle) and lose inches. Additional benefits? Patients with diabetes and high blood pressure are often able to decrease the medications they are on, or discontinue them altogether. Patients who have difficulty with fertility due to polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) can have improved fertility. Patients with muscle and joint pain will often have improvement due to decreased inflammation when they decrease their simple carbohydrate intake. To learn more visit prevea.com/weightloss.

Dr. Vande Zande is an internal medicine physician with Prevea Health in Eau Claire, Cornell, and Chippewa Falls. She provides routine care for adults including preventative medicine and diagnosis and treatment of conditions such as diabetes, high blood pressure, joint pain, heart disease, and depression. She is also the medical director for Prevea’s medically supervised weight loss program, Ideal Weigh. Visit prevea.com to learn more.

Lose Weight with Highland Fitness’s Weight Loss Challenge

Highland Fitness, with three locations in the Chippewa Valley, has been involved with community weight loss programs and challenges for the past seven years. As we all know, January is the time for New Year’s resolutions, and many companies sponsor challenges to inspire folks to achieve their habit-changing resolutions. Since one of the most common New Year’s resolutions is to lose weight (especially after the holidays), their weight loss challenges have proven popular.

This year, 2018, their second annual Eau Claire Weight Loss Challenge will take place. The challenge is open to the public, and all weigh-ins will be at the Eastridge Center location starting January 2 through January 5. All participants will receive a gift bag that includes a T-shirt, water bottle, and vendor coupons worth hundreds of dollars. The Early Bird Registration is open now through November for $20.

Participants will weigh in monthly.

During the challenge, Highland Fitness will host guest speakers, offer healthy recipes, and provide trainer tips. On February 10 their Healthy Heart Medley event will feature food, classes, training sessions, and massages—all of which will be open to the public!

Highland Fitness promotes weight loss, health, and fitness and supports the community by providing over $25,000 worth of prizes and auction items to benefit various area programs. At the Eastridge Center location there is a donation box to support the health and fitness programs of the local Boys and Girls Club.

“Get Fit & Lean in 2018”

1st Place Wins $1000

$20 Earlybird Special • Register Today!

eauclaireweightlosschallenge.com

Eat Your Way to a Healthier You

By Victoria Vande Zande, MD, Prevea Health Internal Medicine

 

There are many benefits of a healthy diet including increased energy, improvement in overall health, mood stabilization and overall feeling better. Healthy eating is not about strict dietary limitations, staying unrealistically thin or depriving yourself of foods you love. There are many simple things that you can do to start eating better.

  • Increase your fruit and vegetable consumption to five servings per day. This helps to increase your fiber and vitamin intake, as well as increase complex carbohydrates.
  • Decrease your calorie intake by replacing liquid calories with water.
  • Eat real food. Replace fast food, food from convenience stores and processed snacks with food that you prepare. This takes some extra planning but will definitely make you feel better.
  • If portion size is an issue, try using a smaller plate or a plate which shows how much of each thing you should have.
  • People who count calories have the most success with weight loss if that is what you are striving for.

 

Not matter what you do, it is important to get the proper balance of foods including lean protein, fat and carbohydrates. Evidence shows that higher protein diets decrease hunger, increase weight loss and increase percentage of fat loss. Fats are important as an energy source and for cell function. Trans fats, found in processed and deep fried foods, should be avoided. Carbohydrates are the most abundant molecules on earth and are an important source of fuel for your body. They are necessary for a healthy diet, but it is important to choose correctly. Choose fruits, vegetables and complex carbohydrates and avoid simple carbohydrates (sugar, processed foods).

 

Now, the holidays are right around the corner and it can be difficult to eat healthy during this time of year; Americans gain approximately one to two pounds throughout the holidays. This can add up over the years. In preparation for a holiday feast, remember:

  • Don’t skip meals. Hunger will cause you to overeat.
  • Eat breakfast. Research shows that people who eat breakfast consume less during the day.
  • Use a smaller plate. This encourages proper portion sizes.
  • Start by eating salad and vegetables first. You’ll be filled up and eat less.
  • Drink a large glass of water prior to eating. Again, you’ll be filled up and eat less.
  • Don’t devour your meal. Eat slowly and savor each bite, and wait 10 minutes before going back for seconds.

 

Controlling cravings over the holidays can also be problematic. Too much processed carbohydrates, sugar and sugar substitute can increase cravings for sweet foods. It has been proven that the more you restrict yourself, the more you are going to get cravings for those foods. Allowing yourself a small amount of the things you crave will not leave you feeling deprived. When you are allowed these foods you are less likely to binge or feel guilty for eating them. One tip – put a barrier between you and the food you crave. Put the food farther away. The less convenient a food is to obtain, the less likely you are to succumb to the craving.

A Weight  Loss Program That Works

For some, a more strict diet is necessary. For these people, Prevea Health offers Ideal Weigh. Ideal Weigh is a medically-supervised weight loss program that uses Ideal Protein foods along with vegetables, protein and supplements to achieve weight loss. With Ideal Weigh, carbohydrates are limited to push your body into ketosis. During ketosis your body burns fat first. Since you are eating more protein your body doesn’t burn muscle. In fact, patients on Ideal Weigh have improved body composition (decreased fat and increased muscle) and lose inches. Additional benefits? Patients with diabetes and high blood pressure are often able to decrease the medications they are on, or discontinue them altogether. Patients who have difficulty with fertility due to polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) can have improved fertility. Patients with muscle and joint pain will often have improvement due to decreased inflammation when they decrease their simple carbohydrate intake. To learn more visit prevea.com/weightloss.

Your Food Cravings Unlock the Answers

by Maggie Christopher

Many people try to use willpower to improve their diet and lose weight. Unfortunately, most people end up failing because it is very difficult to maintain a self-induced willpower over an extended period of time.

Consider a different approach instead. Within your very cravings lie the keys to unlock true success for long-term health and weight loss. Trust and understand that the body is a brilliant machine that needs certain ingredients to run well. If you start to give your body what it needs, you will notice that your cravings will lessen considerably. For example, if you eat too much animal protein, you may start to notice sugar cravings. This is because your body wants to maintain a pH balance of 7.0 and it will continually try to adjust to reach this level. The Chinese philosophy of yin and yang comes into play with cravings. Animal protein is very yang, so you may crave yin foods such as sugar if your body is out of balance. Another example would be if you regularly crave fatty foods like ice cream or fried foods, this could be your body letting you know that you need to introduce more healthy fats into your diet such as nuts and avocados.

Many people get frustrated and feel out of control with their cravings which can lead to negative thinking because they feel they are weak and have no willpower. This is not the case, however. The body is actually very logical. You just need to know how to work together with it. It helps to simplify nutrition. The key is to get a healthy supply of vitamins and minerals from varied food sources because the body was made to extract nutrients from real food. So the more natural foods you put into your body (whole grains, greens, vegetables, fruits, beans, plant-based proteins, naturally raised meats), the fewer cravings you will experience. Did you read this last sentence and say, “But I don’t LIKE any of these foods!” That’s ok. You can slowly introduce these foods and you will notice that your cravings will lessen. Many people are overwhelmed with making changes to their diet. But remember, the reason you eat fast food, processed foods and desserts is because you have an intense craving. If you remove the nutritional reason behind the craving, you will find that you naturally opt for healthier foods.

In addition to learning how to give your body the nutrients it needs, there is another key component to understanding your cravings. Let me share an example. If you have a terrible day at work, do you think you will arrive home and want to eat salmon, brown rice and green beans? I doubt it. You might instead mindlessly eat whatever you have available in the cupboards or refrigerator. So your emotional well-being is tied to your cravings. There are four key areas to focus on when you want to reduce your cravings. They are career, exercise, spirituality and relationships. Think about it: If these areas in your life are not going well, you may find that you’re not eating healthy. If you want to be in a relationship and you are single, you may eat an entire sleeve of Girl Scout cookies to get some sweetness in your life. If you hate your job, you may decide to stop off for happy hour instead of going home and eating a good meal. The philosophy of yin and yang also applies to lifestyle. For example, if your day was too yang (too busy and stressful) you are likely to crave yin foods such as alcohol.

Many people want overnight results when it comes to reaching their health goals, but unfortunately this approach rarely creates long-term, healthy habits. Take it slow. Set small, achievable goals and continue to move forward. Health is not a destination — it’s a journey and a lifestyle.

Maggie Christopher is a certified holistic nutrition counselor in St. Paul. She specializes in digestive issues, sugar cravings and weight loss. Her program allows people to comfortably embrace a healthier way of eating and living. Call for a one-hour, complimentary consultation to learn more. Maggie Christopher, CHNC, www.maggiechristopher.com, 651.231.1360